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USAA car insurance review 2021

Get top-tier customer service, but not everyone qualifies for a policy or its bottom-dollar rates.

finder.com's rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if you want the best rates and customer service.
  • Pick something else if you’re not affiliated with the military.
  • Veterans and military members can make the best use of perks.

Details

States served All 50 states & DC
Roadside assistance Optional
Accident forgiveness Yes
New car protection Yes
Pay schedule 12 months, 6 months, custom
Claims methods Online, Phone
Rideshare coverage Yes
SR-22 support Yes

Pros

  • 24/7 claims service through USAA’s free mobile app
  • Membership savings
  • Get dividends from company profits
  • Flexible premium payments

Cons

  • Limited to current and former members of the US military and their families only
  • Online only support
Anti-theft device discount Yes
Bundling discount Yes
Defensive driving discount Yes
Good student discount Yes
Loyalty discount Yes, up to 10%
Homeowner discount Yes
Military discount Yes
Safety device discount Yes
Special employment discount Yes
Usage-based discount Yes

This article was reviewed by Andrew Flueckiger, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and certified insurance counselor and licensed insurance agent in five states.

What we think of USAA car insurance

Military members and their families can get some of the highest-rated customer service in the industry. And you don’t need to have served in the military, though you need a connection with a family member in the military.

We like seeing USAA’s consistently high ratings for customer satisfaction, and customers praise its cheap rates and claims support. We also like that USAA offers help to those in the military, including flexible payment plans and discounts for storing your car.

Like any major company, we have seen negative customer reviews citing issues with claims or billing — but it’s balanced with a healthy complaint score and high business ratings.

Another plus: our research shows that USAA offers some of the cheapest rates around for safe drivers. However, not everyone will qualify for a policy, and while online account management is great, the online quoting process is long. If you qualify, it’s worth a quote to potentially save hundreds of dollars a year.

finder.com's rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

CategoryOur ratingWhy we gave this score
Coverage★★★★★ 5/5USAA steps outside the basics for car insurance coverage, including options for roadside assistance, accident forgiveness, rideshare insurance and more.
Discounts★★★★★ 4.5/5It rewards you with the main discounts available at other companies. Those include bundling policies, rewarding a student’s good grades or tracking your driving through its SafePilot program.
Customer service★★★★★ 3.3/5The company gets high J.D. Power and Better Business Bureau ratings. Yet customers leave low scores on Trustpilot and file an average number of National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaints. Those ratings bring down our overall score for USAA’s customer service.
Financial strength★★★★★ 5/5It receives the highest financial rating of A++ from AM Best, which shows that it has strong finances to pay for claims.
Best of 2021
Finder experts pick USAA as a 2021 best brand for car insurance.

USAA monthly car insurance quotes

We got USAA quotes for state minimum coverage for a man and woman in the two most populated states, and we’ve found that these are some of the cheapest rates you can find, especially for younger drivers.

Since rates are based on how much you drive, chosen coverage and other risk factors, not everyone sees savings. So shop around to find the best value and coverage.

CaliforniaTexas
18 year old man$91$98
18 year old woman$79$94
25 year old man$41$65
25 year old woman$43$64
35 year old man$30$38
35 year old woman$31$39
45 year old man$29$37
45 year old woman$35$38
55 year old man$34$33
55 year old woman$34$34

How to get a free quote for USAA car insurance

To enroll in USAA auto insurance, you first need to join as a USAA member. Joining and setting up your account takes a few extra steps than normal for a car insurance quote.

  1. Start by determining your eligibility for a USAA membership.
  2. Once you’ve joined USAA, log in and follow the steps to set up your online account.
  3. Log in, enter personal information and details about your car, drivers and record. Get your free quote.
  4. Read the details of your quote and then sign up to get coverage that starts today.

What info do I need to apply?

You’ll enter basic contact information about yourself, and you’ll need the personal information of whichever family member was in the military, including their Social Security number.

  • Your birthdate and contact info
  • Social Security number (SSN)
  • Information about you or your family member’s military service, such as a military number or SSN
  • Your passport or permanent resident card if you’re not a US citizen

What discounts can I get with USAA?

USAA’s discounts reflect its understanding of the unique needs of military members and their families. That includes its car storage discount that can cut your premium by over half.

  • Accident forgiveness. After five years of no accidents, your premium won’t go up after one at-fault accident.
  • Bundling. Save 10% by purchasing both your home or renters and auto insurance with USAA.
  • Defensive driving. Improve your driving skills and take an approved course to lower rates.
  • Driver training. Drivers under age 21 can lower rates by completing a basic driver training course.
  • Family loyalty. If you’re under 25 and buying your own policy after being on your parents’ USAA policy for three years, you could save up to 10%.
  • Good student. Get discounted rates for maintaining good grades as a student.
  • Length of membership. Save based on how long you stay with USAA.
  • Low mileage. If you’re deployed and don’t use your car, you’ll save due to lower annual mileage.
  • Military installation. Save up to 15% on comprehensive coverage when you store your car on a military base.
  • Multivehicle. Receive a discount when you extend your coverage to two or more vehicles.
  • New vehicle. Reduced premiums on vehicles that are less than three years old.
  • Safe driver. Receive a discount for maintaining a clean driving record for three years.
  • Telematics. USAA’s SafePilot program offers a 10% discount just for signing up and up to 30% for driving safely. Available in Arizona, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia as of March 2021.
  • Vehicle storage. Save 60% when you securely store your car during long periods of no driving.

    What extra benefits and add-ons does USAA offer?

    USAA supplements its coverage with programs that offer extra support for the military or member rewards similar to AAA — but without paying for a membership.

    • Overseas coverage. USAA claims that your car can stay covered even when you’re across the ocean on a military assignment. It also provides car insurance coverage in 15 countries if you’re driving internationally.
    • Car buying support. USAA’s Overseas Vehicle Purchase Program helps military members get a car when stationed overseas for over 30 days, with car discounts and delivery to duty stations.
    • Online account. USAA’s convenient online tool lets you file a claim, pay your bill and request ID cards. You also can set up automatic withdrawals from your USAA checking account.
    • Member rewards. Earn member rewards and discounts similar to an AAA membership, without needing USAA car insurance.
    • Flexible payments. Set up payments based on when you get paid, which may not fall on a typical schedule especially if you’re in the military.

    USAA car insurance reviews and complaints

    USAA is the highest-ranking auto insurance company for customer satisfaction in the 2020 J.D. Power auto insurance study. The company also holds an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for customer interactions as of April 2021, though it’s not BBB accredited.

    Plus, USAA holds a 0.98 score from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index for private passenger car insurance. This rating is right at the national score of 1.00, showing that USAA receives about the average number of complaints for its business size.

    However, Trustpilot and BBB customer reviews trend negative, though reviews cover USAA car insurance, banking and mortgages. On the car insurance side, customers complain about problems with getting claims resolved, getting in touch with customer service, billing or technical issues. Keep in mind that it’s common for major brands to see negative reviews, and many customers only give feedback when they have a negative experience.

    Customers reviewing on forums generally are satisfied with USAA’s cheap prices, claims and customer service.

    Our star ratings for USAA, explained

    Our car insurance experts rate USAA above average because of its consistently high customer ratings from J.D. Power, well-rounded coverage and discounts and its high business ratings. Its A rating from the BBB show that USAA quickly handles complaints. And its A++ rating from AM Best is the highest financial strength rating that a company can receive, proving that USAA can back up its customers’ claims. Some average customer ratings bring its overall score down a touch.

    AM Best financial ratingA++
    BBB accreditedNo
    BBB ratingA
    Trustpilot score1.3/5 out of 899 customer reviews
    Customer reviews verified as of28 June 2021

    USAA customer reviews

    USAA review: Adrienne’s experience

    profile pic

    Adrienne Fuller

    Head of Publishing

    I’ve been a USAA member for more than 10 years, having held renters, personal property and auto insurance policies. USAA representatives are always friendly and available with little or no wait times when I call, though customer service is not open late.

    I brought my policy to a friend who runs a local insurance agency to see if I could get a better deal. He told me, “Don’t bother — I won’t be able to get you this coverage for a better price.”

    I’ve gotten two mortgage preapprovals through USAA, but didn’t end up using them because the rates weren’t as low as going through a broker.

    At least as far as insurance goes, I fall into their tagline: It’s safe to say that I’ll be a USAA member for life.

    USAA review: Roslyn’s experience

    profile pic

    Roslyn McKenna

    Insurance Publisher

    I applied for a quote with USAA when my policy was up for renewal. The quote process to become a member is quite lengthy, so be prepared with info on your military connection, such as a Social Security Number and details about your or your family member’s service. Also note that your family member will get an email or call to notify them that you’ve set up a membership.

    After going through the entire process and getting a car insurance quote, unfortunately the rates I was quoted were roughly 30% higher than my current policy.

    I know USAA is well known for having the best service, but I decided to stick with Geico because I like the online account management and cheap rates.

    However, now that I’m a member, I can use my USAA membership to get other insurance quotes and get discounts unrelated to car insurance.

    Compare USAA to other companies

    Interested to see how USAA compares to other top-rated insurers? Check the compare box for up to four companies to see how they stack up side by side.

    Name Product Gap insurance Homeowner discount Telematics Has an app?
    Allstate
    Yes
    Yes
    Drivewise
    Yes
    Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs.

    Speak to an agent: 877-526-1527

    Progressive
    loan/lease coverage
    Yes
    Snapshot
    Yes
    Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
    Pretected
    Yes
    Depends on provider
    No
    No
    Get your most compatible insurance options via a "smart matching" method aimed at finding you value.
    The AARP Auto Insurance Program from the Hartford
    Yes
    Yes
    No
    No
    Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.
    Clearcover
    No
    Yes
    No
    Yes
    Get instant online support and score a low rate thanks to online data that sets premiums automatically.
    loading

    Compare up to 4 providers

    What car insurance coverage does USAA offer?

    You can get a variety of coverage to meet basic or unique needs like rideshare or nonowner insurance.

    • Bodily injury liability. Protects you if you injure someone with your car, but it doesn’t cover damage to you or your car.
    • Collision. Pays for damage to your car when it hits or is hit by another car.
    • Comprehensive. Covers you for damages that aren’t a collision, like vandalism, weather or theft.
    • Emergency roadside service. Helps if you break down and you need roadside repairs.
    • Personal injury protection. Pays medical expenses for other injured drivers or passengers.
    • Property damage liability. Protects you if your car damages someone else’s property.
    • Rental reimbursement. Covers the cost of a rental car while your car is being repaired.
    • Rideshare coverage. If you drive for a company like Uber or Lyft, you can get coverage with USAA to cover you between rides.
    • SR-22. A certificate of insurance for users who have a DUI or uninsured driving convictions.
    • Temporary or nonowner insurance. Temporary liability coverage for rented or borrowed cars in the US, including for personal leave or temporary military assignment.
    • Uninsured motorist. Covers your car damage or injuries caused by an uninsured driver.

    How does USAA bundling work?

    USAA offers standard options for bundling car and property insurance together. And taking advantage can turn into savings of 10% off your total premiums. You can bundle these policies with car insurance to save:

    Why did USAA make our best picks list?

    Our editorial team grades every insurance company in four categories: coverage options, customer satisfaction, cost and financial strength. USAA scored the highest marks in customer satisfaction, according to the BBB and J.D. Power.

    USAA also provides some of the cheapest rates available for coverage and discounts that fit many drivers’ needs. It includes unique military perks like support for buying a car overseas, discounts for storing your car on base and customized payment plans.

    In our editorial opinion from comparing hundreds of car insurers, the only reason not to get a USAA quote is that you don’t qualify for membership. Otherwise, you could save hundreds of dollars each year and enjoy top customer service.

    Who qualifies for USAA car insurance?

    You don’t need to be in the military or pay a membership fee to qualify for USAA car insurance, but you need a connection with the military. You qualify if you meet one of these criteria:

    • Current US military members. Those currently serving in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, Navy or Reserves.
    • Veterans. People who have retired or left the military with an honorable discharge.
    • Spouses. Those who have spouses that had USAA car or property insurance while married. Applies to those who are currently married, widowed or divorced and not remarried.
    • Family of military. Children whose parents or step-parents have ever had USAA auto or property insurance.
    • Military students. Cadets at US academies, students in advanced ROTC or on ROTC scholarship and officer candidates within two years of commissioning.

    Does USAA have insurance agents?

    USAA doesn’t sell insurance through local agents, but some specialty products like motorcycle or commercial auto insurance are sold through third-party companies. If you don’t live near a branch location, contact a representative by phone at 800-531-8722.

    USAA insurance locations

    USAA has five branch locations nationwide. If you’re near one of these locations, you can meet with a representative about your insurance or financial needs. Contact or visit a location at:

    LocationPhone numberAddress
    Phoenix, Arizona800-531-87221 Norterra Drive
    Phoenix, AZ 85085
    Annapolis, Maryland410-919-9197125 Prince George St
    Annapolis, MD 21401
    Colorado Springs, Colorado719-244-90411855 Telstar Drive
    Colorado Springs, CO 80920
    Highland Falls, New York845-839-7021529 Main Street
    Highland Falls, NY 10928
    San Antonio, Texas210-301-994710750 McDermott Fwy
    San Antonio, TX 78288

      Pros and cons of USAA car insurance

      Pros

      • Long list of discounts. Get discounts for safe drivers, good students, safe cars and more.
      • 24/7 claims service. Report or check on your claim through USAA’s free mobile app.
      • Membership savings. Enjoy extra discounts for being a USAA member.
      • Flexible payments. Pay premiums yearly, monthly or on your military pay schedule.

      Cons

      • Limited membership. USAA is only available to current and former members of the US military and their families.
      • No local support. Account adjustments can only be handled online or by phone.

      Reach USAA’s customer service online or by phone

      You can visit the contact and support center for answers to popular questions. Otherwise, you can call the general customer service line at 1-800-531-8722.

      4 steps to file claims with USAA

      If you get in an accident and need to file a claim, USAA makes it easy to get the claims process started online or in the app.

      1. Visit the auto insurance claims page on the USAA website
      2. Select the type of claim that best explains your situation
      3. Log in to your online account
      4. Follow the steps to provide all necessary information and documentation

      Cancellation policy = no fees

      You can cancel your policy with USAA anytime, and the company doesn’t charge cancellation fees for doing so.

      Car insurance ratings

      ★★★★★ — Excellent

      ★★★★★ — Good

      ★★★★★ — Average

      ★★★★★ — Subpar

      ★★★★★ — Poor

      We analyze the best car insurance providers and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you.

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